In 2019, the the AZ Baking Company entered a McGuire Center Heritage Food Startup Series, a program of entrepreneurial training and support for food entrepreneurs that was put in the City of Gastronomy and the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. At that time, we were still refining exactly what we wanted the company to look like and what products we were going to focus on first. At the end of the day all of the companies that participated presented in a pitch competition. The prize was automatic entrance into Southern Arizona's largest pitch competition, IdeaFunding, a part of TENWEST Impact Festival.
The next few months were power packed with launching our first product, the Mesquite Chocolate Cookie Mix, mentoring, more pitch training, and taking our show on the road at markets and pop-up events.
As the winner of the Heritage Food Lab, we were also featured at the TENWEST Impact Festival: Heritage Pop-up Market the Tucson Meet Yourself. As part of that exciting opportunity, we were also featured on KGUN 9 Morning Blend.
Finally, after months of preparing and practicing, the day of IdeaFunding Pitch Competition arrived. AZ Baking Company was one of five food companies pitching before a panel of nationally recognized chefs and restauranteurs. As always, we brought along a fresh baked trey of our signature product -- you have to taste the difference that mesquite flour makes to truly understand what makes the Arizona Baking Company so special!
At the end of the night -- after a full day of dozens of pitches -- we waited in the audience as they announced AZ Baking Company had won our division -- a grand prize of $5,000 in cash and services!